When is a stack of pancakes not just any stack of pancakes? When it’s a stack of Blueberry Pancake Cobbler pancakes! Wait, what? Blueberry Pancake Cobbler?!?
Uh huh. Yeah. That’s right. I just made breakfast easier. Why stand at the stove and flip pancakes when you can just “cobble” them?
Alright, so you know I love a good cobbler. Seriously, what’s better than warm fruit filling bubbling beneath a sweet biscuit topping? Remember Georgia Peach Cobbler? Yum! Or, Whole Wheat Pear Cobbler? Those are dessert comfort food for my biscuit lovin’ soul.
I even tried a new twist on cobbler and made it with sugar cookies… Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. While I must confess that I will always choose a biscuit cobbler over a cookie cobbler, that cherry cobbler was a really fun treat. It had a totally different texture with that cookie topping. How can you go wrong with sugar cookies and cherries? Right. You can’t :)
Which brings me to these pancakes. I went through a pancake phase where I was making batches and batches of pancakes and would freeze them for easy weekday morning breakfasts. I still do that, but I never seem to have the big stash of pancakes that I used to have ready to go at all times.
One of the reasons is that I don’t make them quite as frequently as I used to…and the other reason is that my kids have grown a bit since then. In other words, the same batch of pancakes that used to yield leftovers doesn’t quite stretch as far with growing kid appetites.
I decided to start testing oven baked pancakes. I figured Berry Blintz Souffle, which is, essentially a baked version of cheese blintzes, has been a fave for years. That’s sort of an oven baked pancake, right? And, baked oatmeal was a hit… Let’s keep with the “bake it all in the oven” theme and try a classic oven baked pancake.
I thought the oven baked pancakes were okay, but I wasn’t sure I loved them as much as individual pancakes. It might have just been the particular recipes I tried, but I set the whole idea aside to work on at another time. (I’m confident that I could make one that I would love.)
And then came this idea to make a Blueberry Pancake Cobbler. I often make fresh fruit syrup toppings for our pancakes. So, I thought that maybe combining the fruit with the pancake and baking it together might just turn out to be a new, fun and easy breakfast.
I used frozen blueberries for the fruit. I wrestled with this decision because I really wanted to use fresh berries, but I’ve told you that this particular year has been a hard one for finding great organic blueberries. At least on the exact days that I need them :( Apparently weather conditions have not been kind to the organic blueberry harvest.
The good news about the frozen blueberries, however, is that you can always have them on hand in the freezer. They’re ready to go when you are. You don’t have to worry about them going bad while they wait for you to decide what to do with them.
So, I always have frozen fruit on hand in the freezer. They’re great for dishes like this, or if I want to throw together a quick fruit topping. Of course, they’re great in smoothies. If you have fresh berries on hand that you’d like to use, then, by all means, go fresh. If the normal abundant organic blueberry harvest ever comes in to being in my area, I’ll be buying them up like a mad woman.
Ready? Let’s put this dish together! First the berries. I like to pre-cook them. I know. It’s an extra step, but it’s a step that gives you a little more control over the taste and thickness of your berries. And yes, knowing that some of you might want to take a short cut and just throw the berries, sugar etc. in the dish and cover it with pancake batter…Well, I tried it. Just for you. I didn’t like it as much. (But you might not be as picky as I am, so go for it if you want to.)
I know the issue had something to do with starting with frozen berries. The pancake batter doesn’t have to cook as long as, say, a pie, so something was up with the texture. It might work better if I had fresh berries on hand, but I didn’t (see above) so I’m writing a recipe where you pre-cook your filling. (I also pre-cooked the filling in the cherry cobbler.)
Really, it’s easy and pretty quick. Just throw everything in the pan and bring it to a simmer. You can boil off some of the excess liquid so that you don’t end up with too soupy of a filling. You can add sugar, you can add more lemon. It’s total control time. And yes. I like control.
The berries turn into your syrupy fruit topping, so make them as sweet as you’d like that to be. I let them simmer just until the liquid started to thicken. If you’re using blueberries, you won’t need to add any extra flour, or cornstarch or tapioca or any other thickener. Blueberries are very high in pectin and will thicken naturally.
Don’t over thicken them, though. They’re going to continue to cook in the oven. You want the fruit fluid enough to top your pancakes. I just simmer them until they aren’t watery anymore, and when the liquid just starts to thicken, into the baking pan they go.
While they’re simmering, you can get your pancake batter ready.
The pancake batter is a classic buttermilk pancake batter. Whisk the dry ingredients, whisk the wet ingredients. Stir them together. Always remember that pancake batter should not be over mixed. If you mix and mix and mix until it’s silky smooth, you’re likely to end up with a tough pancake.
Lumps are okay. I mean, definitely stir it enough to combine it, no dry flour streaks should be left, but don’t whip it up into a frenzy. Then, you’re going to gently spoon it into the pan on top of the berries.
Why not just pour it over the berries? Well, the berry layer is pretty shallow and I didn’t want the batter to push them aside and get all mixed up with them. I wanted two, distinct layers. So, gently spoon it all over the fruit and use the back of the spoon to smooth it out and get it to the edges.
I used a 9″ square baking pan because I didn’t want a super thick pancake layer. Basically, I wanted a shallow fruit filling covered by a shallow layer of pancakes. I wanted them to be thin and stackable like pancakes that just came off the griddle. (They’re still thick and fluffy, just not thick like a slice of cake.)
You could use a smaller baking dish and have thicker fruit and a thicker pancake. I didn’t try that, but I’m sure that would also work well. It might need a bit more baking time, but other than that, you should be good. Same goes if you want to double it and put it in a 13 x 9″ pan.
Mine took just over 30 minutes to bake, 33 minutes to be exact. It got a little puffy, the berries were bubbling and the top had a nice golden brown color.
I let it sit out for 10-15 minutes. That gave it a little time to set up. Then, you can just slice up some squares and serve, scooping up the berries in the bottom of the pan to top each slice with.
Look at what a fun pancake stack that is! Pretty, pretty, pretty! And, as I’m looking at it, it seems as if it’s just begging for a dollop of whipped cream. I’ll do that next time.
What do they taste like? Well, like fluffy buttermilk pancakes with blueberry topping! But you didn’t have to flip pancakes for this breakfast. Just put them in a pan and bake them. Blueberry Pancake Cobbler. Why just flip your pancakes…
when you can cobble them?
Blueberry Pancake Cobbler
For the blueberry layer:
- 1 pound frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice zest the lemon first
- zest from one lemon save a pinch for the pancakes
- 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup of sugar or to taste
For the pancake batter:
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- pinch of lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9" square pan with cooking spray.
Make the blueberry filling. Place the blueberries, lemon juice and zest into a small sauce pan. Add sugar to taste. Cook over medium heat until fruit is bubbly and has started to thicken. Taste the filling and adjust sweetness to taste.
Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Set aside.
Make pancake batter. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together in a medium bowl until well combined.
In a glass measuring cup, measure out buttermilk, then add olive oil, lemon zest vanilla and egg. Whisk together until well combined, making sure egg has been fully broken up.
Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture and whisk just until combined. It will still be a little lumpy. Don't over mix or you'll have tough pancakes.
Spoon batter evenly over fruit. (Don't pour or you might push the fruit out of the way while pouring.)
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown and puffy and fruit is bubbling up around the edges.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
*You can bake this in an 8" square pan or other baking dish. Anything smaller than a 9" square will yield thicker fruit and pancake layers. You may need to increase baking time.
*You can also double the recipe and bake in a 13 x 9" baking pan. Again, you'll have thicker layers and may have to bake longer.
*I topped with a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar. You could also top with syrup, especially for those of you who like really syrup drenched pancakes. I think it would be lovely with a dollop of whipped cream :)
*I liked this best on day one, but we did heat up leftovers with no complaints the next day.
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